For the July copy of Bridgemedia click here
Welcome to Bridge Care
Open Reception : Monday to Friday - 9am to 5pm
Contact : 01225 484904
Your original requirement was to protect the building from flooding, to relocate those residents and services from the lower ground level and upgrade the existing home to provide a dementia friendly environment. We knew that this would not be a simple scheme; in fact, we looked at about ten different options. Flooding is a major technical constraint on the existing building. We wanted to meet all the requirements in the original brief, and create a very good scheme that you would be proud of.
Instead of just extending the existing two wings, and adding more accommodation, we needed to understand why the home works so well as it is and not interfere with that success. With the trustees we visited several other care homes to identify what designs work to create a homely, bright environment, and what is less successful.
We realized that long corridors are not only tiring for staff but also can be confusing for people living with dementia. The new wing enables the dining room (the hub of the home) to be easily accessed by everyone; and we also provided a circular route all around the home on two levels.
We discovered that the quality of light is very important to people living with dementia. South facing rooms create shadows which can be scary to people with dementia. The new extension will be brighter, with a big roof light, it will be washed in a light from the north as this casts fewer shadows: the perfect light for painters in fact! We are also able increase the amount of ventilation so it does not become stuffy.
4. How many rooms are in the new wing?
The new extension has 12 rooms altogether, all en-suite, so all the residents who are now on the lower ground floor can be re-located. Their rooms will look out on to the new garden, and the family rooms will have a balcony with a river view, so everyone can enjoy it.
Unfortunately, all building work is expensive! We have designed the most cost effective solution for a site which has many challenges and constraints. The cost of the project includes moving the plant room (including the boilers), carrying out complicated ground works, building the extension and providing the flood defences. As a result, the home will be protected from flooding and upgraded.
Bridgemead is already a contemporary award-winning building. We did not want to design an extension that simply tried to copy the existing building – it would have detracted from the original design and looked like an add-on. So instead we have designed a contemporary extension which is sympathetic to the original iconic building. We are pleased with it as are B&NES’ urban designers – we hope you like it too.
Yours was a very challenging but really interesting brief. Although we have worked for all sorts of charities we had not designed a care home before – so we needed to do our research thoroughly and fully understand what you needed. It has been a year-long project to complete the design. The Bridge Care trustees have been very thorough and a great client to work with. The neighbours have been very friendly as well, we were careful to make sure our design did not obstruct their views. Now we are keen to get the builders started.
On 31st May four of our residents Danny York, James Elliott, Edward Horesh and Jean Kemmery went out on a trip to see the beautiful ancient deer park, seventeenth century house and garden at Dyrham Park. They were accompanied by four staff – Denise Harris (Senior Carer), Veronica Ward (Carer), Kristyna Jancikova (Registered Nurse), and Michelle Jenner (Activities Co-ordinator).
Three residents chose to go around the house – Edward (with Kristyna), Danny (with Denise) and James (with Veronica). All the National Trust staff were very helpful and co-operative. All the residents visited the gardens and were very impressed. Veronica took James around the gardens and the pond. Denise took Danny around the gardens and the pond. Some areas are difficult for wheelchairs, such as the cobbled courtyard and some gravel in the gardens and steep slopes. These difficulties were negotiated successfully by the well trained staff, who all have moving and handling training.
Tea at Dyrham Park café was a great success although Danny said that the scones were not as good as the ones his wife used to make! Edward enjoyed his favourite Marshfield ice-cream and James liked the ice-cream too. Michelle says: “I love taking residents out on outings because they enjoy it so much. It’s wonderful to see them in a different environment, they are more relaxed, sociable and jolly.”
Previous successful trips have included outings to National Trust ‘Courts Gardens’, Prior Park Garden Centre, Chew Valley Lake, and ‘Salt & Malt’ café.
A visit to Bath City Farm for ‘Feathered Friends’ a sociable chicken keeping/cuddling project, for the over 60s and those living with dementia, and their carers is planned next.
Miss Jean Tranah’s 100th birthday was celebrated in style on Saturday 10th June at Bridgemead.
Guests included Wera Hobhouse, Bath’s new MP, Councillor Rob Appleyard, Deputy Mayor, and his fiancée Amanda Fraser, Marian McNeir, patron of Bridgemead, Geoff Weekes, Chair of the Trustees, Pam Bourton, Head of Care at Bridgemead, Rev John Farren and Rev Peter Taylor, former ministers of Hay Hill Baptist church, Rev Andrew Shergold, Philippine Independent Catholic Bishop in Europe, Gillian Murray, Miss Tranah’s niece from East Kent, and many friends, residents, and staff.
There was a service led by Rev Alan Ashworth, the chaplain of Bridgemead, and Mrs Norrey Taylor played the harp. Miss Tranah gave an inspiring speech saying she did not feel her age, that her faith had kept her going, how important it was to look forward and not back, and praised the staff of Bridgemead for being ‘ministering angels’ to her.
Over a delicious cream tea, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rob Appleyard, said, “To get to be a hundred years old with all the pressures, wars and political unrest of the world, but with such a good heart is marvellous. She has such faith and is an incredible person. Bridgemead is brilliant. I first came here a few years ago as Chair of the Council. There is a sense of grace and love here, and the food is amazing!”
Wera Hobhouse, after chatting to Miss Tranah, said:” This home shows what a care home should be like. It is happy and warm, people are well looked after and appreciate the care they receive. I cherish listening to someone of 100 years old who has so much wisdom and is so positive – it is extraordinary.”
Marian McNeir, patron of Bridgemead said “I loved Jean’s speech which reflected her very positive attitude to life and I am especially impressed by her continued interest in people – she said, ‘I lose myself in people’ – that is a great gift. What I admire so much about Bridgemead is that it is a real community where people are loved and cherished.”
The trustees of Bridgemead Care Home are delighted to announce that planning permission has been granted to enhance and carry out a major upgrade to their current building in St John’s Road, Bath. The new wing will extend services for vulnerable older people in a dementia-friendly setting. The building will also be protected from flooding. The trustees need to raise £4,400,000 to carry out the work.
Work is planned in three stages:
Stage 1. Flood Resilience £670,000
Stage 2. New South Wing £2,740,000
A new south wing will create an enclosed external courtyard and restructuring will provide 12 en-suite rooms which are dementia friendly, with new equipment such as bariatric hoists to help patients out of bed, and into a wheelchair.
Stage 3. Improvements £990,000
A riverside lounge and an upgrade of five residents’ rooms with en-suite facilities, and upgrades to the main reception area are planned.
Geoffrey Weekes, Chair of the trustees, says: “We have a lovely home with caring staff and have maintained our values which are driven by the same Christian principles on which Bridgemead was founded. Yet we have to be realistic and adapt to today’s challenges. We are delighted that planning permission for our imaginative but sympathetic extension, designed by SRA Architects, has been granted and are excited to start fundraising.”
As well as extending the Care Home it will be protected from further flooding. On Christmas Eve 2013, the River Avon was dangerously high and was only 5 inches or 130mm from flooding the ground floor of Bridgemead. The 32 older Bath residents would have to be evacuated. How could this be done, and where could the vulnerable residents go on Christmas Eve? Fortunately, levels receded and residents and families could enjoy Christmas in the comfortable homely environment of Bridgemead. However, every time there is heavy rain, the manager, Pam Bourton, says “I have an awful feeling and worry we might have to consider evacuation procedures again.”
This threat coupled with more complex care needs in our older population often with increasing levels of dementia have been the spur to prepare vital new building plans.
The plans also incorporate a community suite where services can be offered to older vulnerable members of the community who are not residents.
Plans have been granted approval on 5/6/2017.
Miss Jean Tranah, who has lived at Bridgemead Care Home for the last ten years, and will be 100 on 10th June, reveals her secrets for those who aspire to centenarianism. Jean, who was born in Wimbledon, left school at 15, was a children’s nurse, then volunteered for the WRNS in World War II. After the War she worked in a children’s home, and then became a companion for 28 years to a lady who was an optician in New Bond Street.
1.Be positive and cheerful
“It’s what you make of situations that counts. I try to think of others and how they are feeling, and be happy and cheerful and not think of myself too much. I would have liked to have been married, but some people are called to a single life and can be a blessing to others and try to help.”
2.”Live one day at a time, one step at a time, and trust in the Lord. I have a deep faith and trust in the Lord, He’s seeing me through. I have lots to thank the Lord for – he has granted me many blessings. I had a fall and was in hospital. My friends prayed for me and their prayers were answered in a wonderful way. There was one vacancy here and I moved in to Bridgemead with these wonderful kind people. People say this is the best home and I agree. I call the staff ministering angels – they are very caring and look after me. It’s lovely to see the river and the greenery around.”
“My favourite meal is chicken, cream potatoes, sprouts and carrots and strawberry pavlova for pudding. The food is good here.”
“ I don’t like to sit too long. I use a frame now as two sticks were not enough support, but I like to keep going. We do exercises with music and I enjoy skittles.”
I have the great privilege of being asked every Thursday to help choose the hymns and give the Bible reading in “Quiet Time”. I used to be very shy as a girl, but this has helped me a lot.
After my lovely Japanese spaniel was put to sleep I wanted to help the RSPCA cats and dogs home, so I have been knitting blankets for the cats and dogs and they are sent up to Claverton. I’m now on my thirtieth blanket.”
“I’ve had joys and disappointments – I have no children, my sister was killed in a car crash in America, I lost my lady I worked for, but I keep on going and don’t give in. It’s important to go forward and not keep looking back.”
“I try to think of other people and be interested in them – I can lose myself in other people.”
Geoff Weekes, Chair of Trustees of Bridgemead Care Home, has received the prestigious Citizen of the Year award on Thursday 18th May at the Mayor’s Parlour.
The Mayor of Bath’s Citizen of the Year Award recognises exceptional volunteers who have made an enormous contribution to the lives of those living in the city. Geoff Weekes has been given the award for his leadership of the trustees at Bridgemead Care Home and for overseeing the campaign to raise funds for a much-needed new extension. Geoff will receive his award from The Mayor, Councillor Paul Crossley, at a special ceremony in the Mayor’s Parlour on 18th May.
Marian McNeir, who nominated Geoff Weekes, says “Geoff has been involved with Bridgemead since it was founded 25 years ago, through his friendship with Dr Ray King, a Bath GP, and members of the Widcombe Baptist Church. Together, they pledged to offer the highest quality of care for local people, whatever their faith, social or financial circumstances. They raised funds and commissioned Feilden Clegg Bradley to design and build their iconic building on the banks of the Avon. Geoff has been a Trustee since December 2003 and was appointed Chair of the Trust in July 2012. He has given selflessly of his time and energy to lead the very able, committed team of trustees and make a huge difference to the lives of older, vulnerable residents by enabling them to flourish, and so realise Dr King’s vision. Residents are from all over the city of Bath and that’s why I thought Geoff would be an excellent candidate for the Mayor of Bath’s citizen medal.”
Geoff Weekes says “I’m very honoured to receive this award. It has been a great privilege to work with my fellow trustees, staff and volunteers to maintain a lovely home with values driven by the same Christian principles on which Bridgemead was founded. We really value the recognition and support of the Mayor at this crucial time as we have just submitted plans to carry out a major upgrade to our current building in St John’s Road, Bath. The new wing will extend services for vulnerable older people in a dementia-friendly setting. We will also be creating space to realise our plan to offer more facilities for older people in the community. As well, the building will be protected from flooding. We will need to raise £4,400,000 for the scheme and are excited to start fundraising for these vital new building plans.”
We are delighted to announce that Stuart Weekes completed the 2017 London Marathon in 4.44.49 and has raised an amazing £3,000 for Bridge Care. We are extremely grateful for this support and would like to congratulate him on his achievement.